I was perusing the internet this afternoon instead of cleaning for my daughter’s 7th BD party tomorrow (7! damn I’m old-ish) and found this awesome gem about “going local” by Mike Vial, a songwriter from Michigan (read the awesome article HERE) and it made me think…
Years ago, I thought it was important to have a “past shows” list that included as many cities and as many venues as possible in a short period of time. Then it occurred to me that when major acts play five shows in three cities in the span of four days, it is because there was a base to begin with. These acts played and played and posted videos and songs and played some more, but always starting locally before branching off into the world.
It’s not always easy for a musician to get and keep a crowd, but that’s why it’s important to get a base. So consequently I’ve made some decisions:
1. I’m going to make friends with people and ask them to come to my shows. I totally understand that they can’t come to every show, so I’ll ask them to share the videos, tell their friends, add me to their workout playlist – every little bit helps. In fact, my video with the highest # of views has been promoted every year by my awesome friend Margaret who blogs about music, teaching and religion (a great mix!) HERE. Thanks, Meg!
2. I’m going to see other musicians play, not only because I like music, but because they need the audience as well as I do. There’s a huge difference between playing to four people you don’t know in the other bands on the bill and playing to the ten people who came out to spend an hour or so having a drink at the place you’re playing instead of the place next door.
3. I’m going to show up once a month or so at a venue in the Boston/Cambridge/Somerville area and sweat until I bleed. (I actually have cut my finger on my guitar strings more than once by playing “too hard” whatever that means.) If the audience has half as much fun as I do, it will be a success.
And I’m going to do this for a while. Maybe a few months, maybe a couple of years…
THEN I’ll worry about booking a tour of the UK and Spain.
**Dann has a show with his band tonight (8/9 10PM) at the Cantab in Central Square Cambridge. If you can’t show up, check out the site and watch the videos a million times clicking the “like” button so all your twitter followers see it too 🙂 **